September 11 2008 show notes

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Thursday 11 September '08 show

  • The show was guest hosted by Lee Rayburn, Madison, Wisconsin, talk show host on The Mic 92.1.
  • It's the 7th anniversary of 9/11. There is no expert on 9/11. We don't know what happened. Rebuilding delays.
  • Article: Pentagon official: Afghan strategy not working. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    "Add to this a poor and struggling Afghan economy, a still-healthy narcotics trade there and a significant political uncertainty in Pakistan, and you have all the makings of a complex, difficult struggle that will take time.

    I'm not convinced we are winning in Afghanistan. I am convinced we can.
  • Guest: Coleen Rowley. An FBI whistle blower who knew about Zacarias Moussaoui well before September 11 2001. She was with the FBI for almost 24 years. She was legal counsel to the FBI field office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She retired at the end of 2004. She has some unique knowledge about what was taking place inside agencies in the lead up to September 11 2001.

    In August of 2001 the FBI's joint terrorism task force in Minneapolis detained Zacarias Moussaoui and why is it that Zacarias Moussaoui was originally detained because he had very suspicious ties to extremists that might harm the United States. He was connected right up to Ramzi Binalshibh who was the mastermind of 9/11. Flight school pilots turned the FBI on to him. They went against their hierarchy to call the FBI and he was taken into INS custody a couple of days later on August 16. Apart from Moussaoui there were a couple of other significant dots that were not connected in the lead up to 9/11. She and the agents investigating felt helpless not being able to further the investigation.

    On August 23, just a week after the apprehension of Zacarias Moussaoui, a memo made it to the top of the intelligence community, a PowerPoint presentation was given to the director of intelligence at the time, George Tenet, which was entitled, "Islamic extremist learns to fly". George Tenet never admitted that, and the whole time after 9/11 you actually heard quite the opposite. Cover ups. Unwillingness to examine mistakes. Nobody says that 9/11 could have been totally prevented, butt here would have been a chance if investigations had been pursued. The mistakes that have occurred since 9/11, a lot of it due to a strong reluctance on the part of the people in power to really reveal these types of mistake that they made and basically to examine what should we do to reduce terrorism without making the situation worse.

    What was the feeling in the immediate Minneapolis FBI field office after the planes hit on September 11 2001? A very sinking feeling at first that their worst suspicions had been proven correct. Then, oh my goodness, look the bosses in Washington circle the wagons right after 9/11 and refuse then to really tell the truth to the American public or even get the victims of 9/11. To a great extent it is still going on. Speculation and conjecture.

    Does this look more like gross negligence and bureaucracy, or some sort of government involvement in the coup? Before 9/11, gross negligence bordering on recklessness. But since 9/11 it's worse; now you actually have people with knowledge of the truth and the facts who have chosen, for example, to go into Iraq; that's not negligence but deliberate malfeasance. We're not helping the 9/11 victims in New York who have a higher level of asthma, deaths among rescue workers. They talk today of remembering 9/11, but none of it in a constructive vein; it's all about going to war.

    Her letter dated may 21 2002 to FBI director Robert Mueller saying that the FBI's headquarters was unable to present facts so they could get a warrant through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act so they could search Zacarias Moussaoui's personal effects and laptop. Was this a failure of FISA or was this a failure of the intelligence bureaucracy to get the information to FISA? It's been mischaracterized in order to allow for this now widespread monitoring; they've got around the old FISA law. The Bush administration immediately went around it. They did not follow the law. They could have dealt with Moussaoui within the law, it was basically human error at several laws; they chose not to go to the FISA court. The FISA court has rubber stamped nearly every application, so it is hard to blame it.

    They had Moussaoui in custody on the afternoon of September 11 2001 when everybody's trying to figure out what's going on, yet the acting US attorney denies the FBI permission to interview him. Why? Now we have torture suspects first, many of whom are innocent so we get nothing. She reminded Mueller that they were not allowed to interview Moussaoui in her letter. The letter led in part to the 9/11 commission, but it was never addressed. She tried to testify on June 7, only one senator brought it up. Unbeknown to her, in May 2002 the talk about harsh interrogation tactics was already under way; they were authorized in July 2002. Michael Chertoff was Assistant Attorney General at the time; he's now head of Homeland Security. He was overseer of the Moussaoui case for a while. She called his office once about the case, and why Moussaoui was not interviewed.

    Why we have to go around the FISA courts, why we need to torture, why we need to invade Iraq, these are all based on a false premise.

    Following the law, and certainly international law as well at our own domestic law, our own tried and true FBI and police investigative methods of determining guilt and innocence; when 9/11 happened, those things just went up in smoke under the rubric of the so-called war on terror.

    Dick Cheney's 1% doctrine - if there's a 1% chance that something could happen they should act as if it would. What they ended up doing was acting as if anything could happen, anything that was in their best interest, that is. She wrote another letter to Robert Mueller in February of 2003; "If, as you have said, "the prevention of another terrorist attack remains the FBI's top priority," why is it that we have not attempted to interview Zacarias Moussaoui...

    In short, it is a matter of priorities. And lack of follow-through with regard to Moussaoui and Reid gives a hollow ring to our "top priority;" i. e., preventing another terrorist attack.

    Many people think that this trade off between security and civil liberties and following the legal rules, etc. It is the exact opposite. We would be doing such a much better job of reducing terrorism and making our country safer. Now Michael Mullen, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff acknowledges that we're not winning the war in Afghanistan and terrorism is worse.
  • McCain was not tortured according to our FUBAR definition.
  • Political commercials.
  • Lies about Obama, lies by McCain, Palin.
  • Articles: The Politics and PR of Cervical Cancer, Judith Siers-Poisson.
    "Many women, myself included, have been affected by cervical cancer or Human Papilloma virus (HPV) at some point in their lives. In this series of four articles, I will examine HPV and Gardasil -- the facts, the hype, and what Merck stands to gain; the marketing campaigns promoting Gardasil in the U.S. and the media's lack of attention to concerns about the rush to mandate vaccination; the role of the non-profit group Women In Government in promoting mandatory vaccination against HPV; and what is going on outside of the U.S. on this issue.

    HPV is rampant throughout the world, and the U.S. is no exception. It is estimated that up to 20 million people in the U.S. are currently infected with HPV -- men as well as women. It is not surprising, therefore, that Gardasil has burst onto the national stage as the latest 'wonder' vaccine. Manufactured by Merck, Gardasil is the first vaccine available that can prevent 4 strains of HPV, which is a leading cause of cervical cancer and pre-cancerous cervical conditions.

    In nearly every state in the U.S. there is a legislative push to make the HPV vaccine mandatory for middle school aged girls, with catch-up clauses to cover girls that have passed that age but are not yet sexually active. Given the anxiety of most people about cancer and the number of people infected with HPV, it is not surprising that what is touted as the first vaccine against cancer has been largely greeted with acclaim. But despite having been affected personally, I became concerned by the headlong rush to not only approve the vaccine, but to mandate it for middle-school aged girls. It is also worrisome that a vaccine may give a false sense of security, which could lead to a decline in the very reliable and proven diagnostic tools available, including Pap tests. Decisions affecting millions of young women should not be made lightly, and certainly not without examining the marketing, PR, and profit motives of a corporation like Merck.
  • Guest: Judith Siers-Poisson, Associate Director for the Center for Media and Democracy. She's in the upcoming Project Censored. Gardasil, a vaccine against HPV that guards against 2 of the 4 high risk strains, and 2 that give genital warts. It is not a vaccine against cervical cancer; pap smears guard against that. If we take 2 strains out, what will other 2 do? If we vaccinate kids it could be wearing out just when kids need it. There is no proof it works in the long term. Fast track approval. Merck has a window of opportunity to sell as monopoly, pressing to make it mandatory. It's not a crisis in the West, but it is in Africa. We don't know how safe it is as it's new, so don't mandate. Mandates are at state level, so Merck target networks like the Women in Government group. A doctor called, said to look at Europe.
  • Bumper Music: The Only Living Boy In New York, Simon & Garfunkel ("Tom, get your plane right on time").
  • This is national suicide prevention week, and suicides for veterans have jumped 500% in 5 years.
  • Article: Scandal at federal oil royalty collection agency. Trading sex and cocaine for oil in the Denver Interior Department and Washington.
  • The third hour of the program was devoted to stories of listeners receiving absentee ballot application forms from the McCain campaign; who was getting them, in which states, whether they had a valid return address, whether that was the right return address for the recipient, whether the forms were acceptable or would be rejected, etc. Absence of voter fraud? Going after snowbirds? Students being told they can't be on their parents' tax if they register (a lie).

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